Friday, December 30, 2016

It was a good year!


Feeling incredibly blessed. 

Looking to finish out the year well. 
I imagined having a day 
when I applied all the wisdom gained, 
by all the mistakes I've made
(all year!).
Could you imagine getting it right once?
One day with no mistakes,
no foolishness,
no insensitivity,
no waist,
no ingratitude.
So maybe I'll wake tomorrow,
and I'll try.
Try to be kind (at all times).
Grateful (for all things).
Purposeful (in all my effort).
Prayerful and obedient.
Abiding and generous.
Brave and bold.
Humble and meek
(NTS figure out what meek even means)
Patient and long suffering.
I think after an entire year
of working on these things,
I'd be farther ahead?
Maybe?
But I still have so far to go,
and some days it feels like such a battle
just to stand my ground.
Maybe it's not about how far I traveled
but who was in the car with me,
and what we talked about.
God, we have had so many great conversations!
I have shared with you the deepest hardest things,
and you have helped me trough each one.
I trust you more than I did last year.
You have shown me you are trustworthy.
I am less fearful this year,
as you have helped me be brave.
I have learned to trust you more
more than I mistrust myself.
I love myself more now.
It might sound strange,
but the more I love God,
the more I experience His love for me,
the more I realize I must have worth.
And I am who God made me.
And he likes the way He made me.
I'm better at believing that than I was last year.
Sometimes I just hope things (like that) are true.
But the more times God tells me,
while we travel,
the more I know it's true.
He whispers to me
in His Word and by His Spirit.
Some days I've been so busy,
I missed His whispers.
God I'm learning,
there is no more important thing
than listening to you,
and walking in obedience.
I'm learning fear is a lie.
Fear says you wont always be there.
It says you wont always provide.
It says you don't really love me.
It says you will only love me if I lose weight,
or get something right.
Or avoid something wrong.
But you told me you wont ever leave me.
You said you would give me everything I need
for life and godliness.
You said there was no greater love
than to lay down your life for a friend,
and then you laid yours down.
You said your power is made perfect in my weakness,
and that you (intentionally) put your all surpassing power
into this clay pot,
to show that the glory was from you
and not me.
It's been a great year, God.
Thank you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This is not a political post

This is not a political post
Last night I watched a documentary about some Native Americans. I don't remember what their clan name was but one had asked if mining could make fish sick. "It could!" said the scientist (come to test the land). He also tested the water and people of this town. They had been “relocated” from their land 7 times and refused to leave the last time it was "requested". So the land owners mined copper and gold right on the border of their land. In the process of the half hour show I was in tears to see the damage greed had reeked on this land and these beautiful people, 4 of the main characters in the documentary were dead by the end of the show, I grieved. I repented for the way WE have harmed the earth, and cared so little for those beautiful people whom God created.

This morning I read an article written by Steve Locke called "I fit the description". More tears. I just wanted to find this man and tell him "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry."

I didn't mine for gold next to a native population and poison them, I didn't racially profile and strike fear into this beautiful black man, and I wasn't sorry because I am white. I'm sorry because both of those injuries were done by humans, and I am a human. I associate with the greed and carelessness of the polluters, so I repent. I associate with the Natives, so I grieve. I associate with the officers (there to protect, but clouded in their vision of what is fair and dignified) so I repent. I associate with Steve, so I grieve.

Sometimes I wonder when I cry during worship or when scripture is read, if I look more guilty than others, but I don't care. It's right to grieve what is wrong. It's right to cry because God is so beautiful and holy, and yet He allowed himself to be born to the poor and week. He allowed himself to be broken for us. ~more tears.

I was at a woman’s event once when a man took the stage. To be honest, I'm sorry to say I was a bit annoyed at first. But then this humble man, began to pray for us. He began to apologize for all of the harmful, hurtful, callous things the fathers and brothers and boyfriends and school-mates, and male friends had done. It was one of the most powerful, healing, beautiful things one human has done in a 10 minute prayer time. He didn't say all men are horrible. He just said “I'm sorry. I'm so so very sorry.” There was not a women in the place who was not weeping. Grieving. Forgiving. Healing. Being set free.

There is no us and them. Only us. And God.

There is none righteous, no not one, all have sinned and fallen short.

Just some thoughts. Some that move me to pray. Some that explain my tears. Some that say "I'm sorry", because sometimes that makes it easier (for us humans) to forgive. I have apologized for Christians before. I hope (if I've caused injury in my foolishness) others have done the same for me. Because it's part of loving justice and walking humbly with our God, to desire healing and health and forgiveness for others (even as we long for it for ourselves).

So why did I say: This is not a political post?
Because it's too easy to isolate folks in our mind and disagree with and hate and judge and stand pridefully against them. But we are warned about this. So many warnings. If we are judged in the same measure that we use to judge others, if we are forgiven the way we forgive (in the same way and with the same contingencies) None of us will stand, in the day of judgment. If we are told to judge not, lest we be judged, if judgment begins with the house of God...Wow. Let us rend our hearts and spend some time in prayer.

May He bless you richly dear friend. Thank God that He has been gracious to us. God help us. God forgive us and heal our land.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

...must focus on pretty things...

...must focus on pretty things... 
It's like the ticking of my internal clock. 
Too much loud, 
I tune it out or turn it off. 
Too much hateful, 
I tune it out or turn it off. 
Too many foolish lies 
being given credence as truth, 

same. 


But when I walk away, 

if it lingers 
(the negative, the hateful, the ugly) 
or if it's touching those I love,

I pray. 


I just read that 

"optimism can be the undoing of some" 
There must be a survival manual for hard stuff, 
we just can't live in denial 
(because it's not going away). 

I'm refreshed and renewed by the Lord, 

by reading the Bible, 
by talking and listening to him. 
But for sure, 

limiting my exposure to ugliness 

(in it's varied forms) 
is survival 101.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I eat hot dogs sometimes.

I eat hot dogs sometimes.
I splurge on Diet Coke once in a while.
On occasion
I eat frosting out of the container with a spoon.

When I eat too many sweets,
I restrain myself
by not eating real food.

These are not the worst of my faults.

Sometimes I get mad.
When I do,
sometimes I swear.
When I don't
I swear in my mind.

Injustice
makes me mad.
Lack of kindness
will most of the time make me mad.

Usually I end mad,
by being very very sad.
I'm sad because I remember my faults,
and the one who suffered injustice,
for my sins,
to forgive me and set me free.

I repent for judging others,
I forgive them too.

I can forgive those who hurt me,
and those who are callous to others.
Sometimes when I see cold hearted folks,
I just wish they could come to that place,
of repentance
and forgiveness.

The end of the anger, then sadness, then prayer
is me praying a blessing on those who hurt others.
Because it's God's kindness that leads to repentance.
Not judgment.
That happens soon enough.
But it starts with those who know him.

We have no place to judge.
(as forgiven ones)
we owe that same grace we have received,
to others.

In the end weather it's my dietary sins,
or the sins of a bad attitude,
I can see the weaknesses I have are a gift to me.

Just think about that for a minute.
It's a cure for self-loathing.

I'm not saying it's good that I do
what I wish I did not do.

I'm saying, it's a gift to me that I'm so prone to it.
So that I will stay humble,
because when I view others
with that humility,
I am more kind in my view of them.
I love more.
I am more long suffering.
More forgiving
and graceful toward them.

God bless you richly
as you ponder your own shortcomings,
and allow the Lord to adjust,
and heal,
and grow you in your love
for God
then for self
and others.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Do you keep a list?

I started a list this week.
It's a list of promises.

If your dad said he'd take you to dinner.
And made plans to meet you on Friday,
but instead you made plans Friday
to do other things,
he would no longer be obligated
to take you to dinner.

We have a part to play in our Father's promises.
We don't "earn them"
we just "take him up on his offer".
I have a bad memory,
so I started writing his promises down
(because I don't want to miss out on all his cool offers!).
This was yesterday's promise:

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires."

There are ton's of desires in my heart.
As I thought about this offer,
I started thanking God
(when desires came to mind).
I thanked him for all the sweet gifts
he's given me in the past
and I talked with him about the things
I was longing for now.

I delighted in the fact
that he likes to give me good gifts,
and I know for sure,
that if it's best for me,
he will give me these gifts too. :)

What are some of the desires of your heart?
For that matter,
what are some of the promises you hold on to
(maybe I could add them to my list)?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Submit

I really hate that word.
I don't even like the word hate.
But the word "submit" brings out the worst in me.
maybe that's the point, though.

God asked me to do this.
Well not just me
all of us
(who follow Him).

Submission starts when
we are captured by His love.
And we simply must have more of it.
We crave it
long to dive in,
wish to be consumed by it.

In the process,
we submit
to God's invitation
for relationship.

We surrender our life to God.
We ask that His life would fill us
and we would be transformed by it.
We ask that His Word would change us
and His will would be our guide.

Wait.
I think that all gives me too much credit.
Honestly, God in His kindness
offers me freedom from the
things that have me enslaved.

In foolishness,
I (for a time) rebeled from His offer.
Thinking somehow the captors
offer me joy (more rewarding)
than the freedom,
peace and joy
the Lord offered.

Perhaps that is the cruelest thing
about our flesh.
It fears and despises the freedom
we are given as a reward,
as our inheritance!

The lie is that our freedom
is more restrictive than captivity.
The lie is that His joy
is somehow less than
the futile (temporary) counterfeit high,
offered by our enemy.

The lie is that we will have less
if we submit our will
to Him.

Perhaps you have no problem with all that.
Perhaps the problem only arises when we are told to
submit to a human.

God is your authority.
Not humans.
Maybe your flesh feels "safe" in this thought.
And "unsafe" about submitting to a human
(even one in authority over you).

They might hurt you.
They might lead you wrongly.
They might take away your freedom.
But you gave your freedom to God.
And He gave you freedom from your captor
(sin, Satin, and death.)

If you obey the Lord and submit to:
your parents,
your spouse,
your boss,
and all Christians,
you are submitting to God's command.

If you do not submit to:
your parents,
your spouse,
your boss,
and all Christians,
you are not submitting to God's commands
or God.

It is not possible to obey God,
without obeying God.

Maybe you have no problem with all this,
unless there is abuse.
Let's face it,
humans abuse power,
and those under them.

Two things give me consolation as I meditate on this.
1-God is all powerful (not impotent).
2-I am God's.

He will not let me suffer apart from
His will,
protection
and provision.

The working out of the details
when it comes to abuse
of all kinds,
is a matter of the Holy Spirit's guidance

and the guidance of those
whom God puts in your life to help you.
He did not leave us as orphans.
He guides,
protects,
advises
and consoles.
He rescues,
redeems,
and uses all things for our good.

We can trust Him.

God bless you as you take your will to obey,
and surrender to His will,
His love motivated,
perfect will,
for you and your life,
salvation,
sanctification,
and eternal joy.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

What if I told you "I have an agenda"?

It makes me feel uncomfortable
when I realize someone is trying to say something
other than what they are saying.

Politicians don't ever answer questions anymore,
they just wait for a chance to speak.
Wait for a chance to promote their agenda,
looking for a segue,
into what they want to talk about.

So is it wrong to have a thing that motivates you?
A thing that colors all that you say,
all that you do?
A passion so strong,
that even as you focus on one thing,
it only has meaning if it's flavored by your main thing?

I realized I have an agenda.
I'm not always true to it (sadly).
Sometimes I get distracted,
I swerve off the path and head in a less than productive direction.
But when it comes to the heart and soul of my identity,
my passion
when distilled into purity
my passion is a reaction
to a rescuing love of God for me.
And the reaction
is to love God back
and love those whom He created.

My heart longs for this love to permeate all that I do.
I wish and hope and pray that my words would be flavored by this love.
I wish and hope and pray that my actions would display this love.
I wish and hope and pray that my prayers would be filled with the will of this love.
My agenda, is to testify about this love.

To the extent that I am transparent in this,
it is to His glory.
to the extent that I hide this,
or fail in anyway to hold this out,
that would be to my shame.
yet another sin that nailed my Lord to the cross.
One more bit that He suffered to redeem me.

Oh God let me hold fast to the Word of life.
Let me live well.
Let me love well.
Let me pray well.
For your glory,
and my purest longest lasting joy,
Amen

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Keep it simple

We like to over complicate things.

Walking around a thing
throwing way too many words at it.
Why can't we just keep it simple!?

We feel somehow
that there are so many expectations
we must fulfill to get right with God,
that we judge God(!)
as if he's asking too much of us,
when in fact, he made it very simple.

"[God] has shown you,
O mortal,
What is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly.
And to love mercy.
And to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8

Now to act justly, should be pretty easy (right?)
Just do what's fair.
Remove selfish ambition,
and treat folks fair.

To love mercy is not a hard thing.
Who doesn't root for the underdog?
Well, the oppressor, doesn't.
So don't be selfish at the expense of others
(if you want to be right with God).

And to walk humbly with your God.
This one surprises me most.
I thought about the times in scriptures
where God walks with man.
They are all pretty sweet pictures.
And amazing that God desired them.

In the garden,
God walked with His first earth kids.
Adam and Eve.
Enjoying them and all He made for them
and He even gave them an identity,
He made them in His image,
and He called them "good".

Next we see Moses longing to have his faith
rewarded by sight.
He wanted to see God.
So in tenderness,
God gave Moses the desire of his heart.
Protecting his human frame,
God hid Moses in the cleff of a rock,
and let him experience as much of the holiness of God,
that he could survive!
Precious.
Powerful and precious.

Then Christ gives a very personal invitation,
to those who are weary and heavy laden,
to walk beside Himself,
and to learn from Him,
while letting Jesus share in our labor
(giving us rest)
and experience a light burden
from a humble co-laborer.

If that were not enough,
when Jesus went to be with the Father,
He even sent us the Holy Spirit
so we would not be alone.
He personally desires to fill us,
guide, heal, comfort and anoint us.
Literally (!) walking with us.

So back to keeping it simple,
How do we begin to
act justly,
love mercy,
and walk humbly with our God.

Well, even that He made easy.
Jesus said "I stand at the door and knock,
anyone who hears my voice and invites me in,
I will sit and dine with".

So come Lord,
Come in!
Dine with me.
Teach me.
Forgive me.
Fill me.
Heal me,
and use me.

For the glory of God,
and because of Your sweet kindness and mercy,
toward me,
amen

Friday, September 2, 2016

Stale Theology

I heard the words in a meeting with my pastor.
Sometimes when I hear words,
my mind pushes pause.
I can't hear anymore.
I just linger in my thoughts.

Trying to understand.

It goes like this.
I rewind
and listen again.
"Did I hear that right?"
"Is it true?"
"Is this supported by Scripture?"
"How can this change me?"

I did all that.
Sometimes when the words are important,
they come back to me
(as weeks pass)
and I'm changed by them.

The meeting was about prayer.
It was about things that hinder prayer,
"Stale theology can hinder our prayers"
he said.
I'm not exactly sure what came next
(this was one of those paused moments).

"Give us this day, our daily bread" Mtt 6:11
"brings out of his storeroom new treasures
as well as old" Mtt.13:52
"but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"

Yep. It's supported by Scripture
but what does this "stale theology" look like?

Protect me from it, Lord.
(I prayed this morning)
from stale theology!

I don't want to wrap up what I "know"
with a bow
and reject fresh wisdom
(manna for the day)!

I want to test everything and hold on to the good!
I don't want to despise a profit,
but glean good stuff from them!

If a tree is pruned and doesn't change,
it's dead!
God prune me,
remove what is not helpful,
what is yesterday's manna!

Help me grow and change
from glory to glory,
for Your glory
and because I bare your Name!

God let me work out my salvation
with fear and trembling,
help me to press-on to win the prize!
After I do all to stand,
I want to keep standing!

Search me God,
and know my anxious thoughts,
test me and try me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Oh the lies we tell ourself

Did I really believe my self when I said
"I'll just go for a run"
(as I grabbed the second glazed donut)?

psh! No.
OK, maybe for a second
(at most).

But I ate it anyway, and enjoyed every bit of it!
Committed to not feeling guilty,
as I'm being set free from body shaming
and I was not gorging myself gluttonously.
(Look at me being defensive about it though!)

Anyway, back to my point, I lied to myself!
I actually had no intention (beyond the first second)
of doing what I told myself I'd do (go for a jog).

It got me thinking,
how many times do I tell myself things,
to convince myself to do things
I might regret later?

Hm... Dare I say: Regularly!

But could it be,
this person (me)
who is committed to Truth,
who delights in honesty and transparency,
would lie, to myself?

Jeremiah 17:9 says:
The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?

Paul said:
I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do,
I do not do.
But what I hate,
I do.

He told the church in Rome:
with my mind I serve the law of God,
but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

So what hope do we have
(with all this war going on against us?!)
(within us?!)

Funny... Paul said that too:
What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Now, I know what you were thinking:
How did we get from donuts to death?

But really,
it's not that far of a stretch.

If I can convince myself to eat sugar,
which I know is not good for me,
(even though it's not a sin)
then I need to be aware of my inner voice
and the lies that proceed from it.

Colossians warns us to:
set our minds on things above,
not on earthly things.

Kind of like my clock,
if I don't first set it,
there's no chance it will randomly wake me in the morning.
I must be intentional.

My mind is the same way.
Like Paul who made his mind a slave of God's law,
I must set my mind on the things of God,
then my body may stray,
but not for long,
I will repent,
correct it,
and get back on track.

Kind of like my donut
or should I say donuts!
My diet is made up of mostly healthy food,
with the occasional
(all-be-it extreme)
splurges.
But I get right back on track
as a healthy eater.

I need to be this way in faith.
I want to be wise.
I might (successfully) deceive myself
periodically,
but I live a fully committed life
for Christ.
I don't be little my sin.
I know it's a dangerous thing,
but I don't let it cripple me,
or taint my identity,
rather,
I confess,
repent
and move on.

John said if we confess our sin,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin,
and cleans us from unrighteousness.

That's so cool.
So I pray (like David)
search me Lord,
and try me,
see if there is any offensive ways in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

God make us wise.
God make us holy.
For your glory.
Amen


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Half Full or Half Empty?

My glass has never really been half full. 
Although, I associate with that kind of folk, 
because I'm hopeful. 
But to be honest,
I lack no good thing
and my cup is overflowing.
Even when things look bleak, 
it's because I was looking at the wrong things 
(or with the wrong perspective). 

This morning I read the key to fixing my perspective: 

Fix your thoughts on what is true, 
and honorable, 
and right, 
and pure, 
and lovely, 
and admirable. 
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

It goes on to say then the God of peace will be with you.

Who doesn't want that?!

Oh, God.

Let me fix my thoughts
like setting the table
and come sit a while with me.
Let's have a meal
and chat over tea.

There's so much catching up to do.

Tell me everything I've missed
when I wasn't paying attention.

Here's my day,

I've cleared my schedule,
let's spend it together.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Father, Here's my heart

Father, here's my heart,
would you hold it for me?

it's full of people,
thank you for them.
Would you bless them, help them, heal them,
save them,
please Father.

Father, here's my heart,
would you clean it for me?
it's full of stuff,
I guess it probably shouldn't be
sorry about that.
I needed to hold things loosely
and freely give even as you so freely give to me
but I cherished stuff and it's making my heart cluttered
and making me less loving.

Father, here's my heart,
it's full of worry,
I know it shouldn't be.
I know you have a plan for me,
and it's not to harm me,
but to give me hope
and a future.

Father, here's my heart,
it's broken in places,
I guess I cared more about what people thought
and how they felt about me,
more than your thoughts,
and how you feel about me
and I was crushed a little.

I'm giving you my broken, soiled, misshapen,
distorted, and confused heart.

Father forgive me,
cleanse me and heal me.
Consecrate me
and teach me.

I know it's yours anyway.
Thank you for fresh starts,
new chances,
forgiveness
and strength,
to go with fresh vision,
and you Word to guide my path.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Walking by the Spirit

I could as easily have called this:
Do the next hard thing.
As I've studied the Holy Spirit
I've learned more about myself
than I have about this mysterious
Third Person of the Trinity,
but in learning about myself,
I find myself continually haveing to choose
between my will and God's will.

I wish it were so clear to me
in the moment
but rarely is it.

I react to things,
and in a split second, and I must choose,
my will
or His.
And it looks like:
the hard thing,
and what comes natural.

Is God so cruel?
can I be blamed for not doing hard things?

Is God's will really so hard?
After all,
His yoke is easy
and His burden is light.

But I find I must choose between the hard thing
and the easy thing,

Perhaps it's like a potato.
which is better for you:
a potato,
or a potato chip?

It seems pretty clear,
the potato.

But we will not be satisfied
by our delightful little fellow
(the potato),
if all we ever eat
are chips.

Does God desire us to go about the bland life of a potato?
Surely He desires us to experience all the flavor of life!
(Joy,
Excitement,
Elation)
we are surely not meant to live an emotionless life,
after all we are the salt of the earth!

Well consider the variety of ways to enjoy a potato
besides these two extremes.
and if our palette becomes accustomed to the
immediate intensity of grease and salt
we will hardly recognize the potential
of this simple vegetable.

God desires us to live happy,
walk with Him through trial,
and restore joy to us when we grieve!

In fact,

In His presence is fullness of joy.
Sin,
can only bring us broken,
portions,
pieces,
counterfeit,
temporary,
facsimiles
of enjoyment,
and all at a cost to our soul.

God (on the other hand)
offers us
fullness of joy.

How could we be so easily fooled
out of our inheritance,
our birthright,
our crown of glory?

Oh, God forgive us.
Oh, Holy Spirit,
Help us to come to you
(the lover of our soul)
and receive fullness of joy!

Oh Holy Spirit, retrain our tastes
so that we savor You.
So we enjoy the richest of fair
even the pure joy found in your presence.
And the enjoyment of walking in your ways
and choosing your will.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Moms

I wanted to write something today
for my friends who's mom's have passed away,
I wanted to bless their heart.
And fill them with the blessing
this day has to offer (everyone)....
I would have to also say something
to those who's mom was abusive or neglectful
(the addicts and the abused themselves),
I would offer heart felt condolences,
and suggest that you give
what you always longed to receive.
Cry with those who cry.
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Mourn with those who mourn.
I console myself
that my glory days of little bodies jumping on my bed
with half cooked eggs, cold toast and hand made cards
are no more,
but instead,
I have the blessing of beautiful humans
that love with the love God gave me to invest
and I have a husband who celebrates me,
as he can't celebrate his mom any more.
We are all together in this human condition
of growing up,
growing old,
dyeing
and (hopefully) being reborn.
This (as with all) is the day the Lord has made,
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
May all the peace, love, and joy
that was intended for you,
be yours today,
(there's lot's of unclaimed blessings out there)
may you seek the Giver,
and enjoy them.
Happy Mother's Day to all

c Kim Damon 2010

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How do we get to know God and be known by Him?

David knew God would deliver him from Goliath 
because he knew God…
Jesus told a story of 10 virgins 
5 who were “foolish”
hear the saddest words in the Bible:
“Away from me, I never knew you”
How do we get to know God and be known by Him?

Pray
I didn’t want to use this word “pray”.
There were too many unsatisfying sermons on prayer...
The word has become one we have defined,
put in a box
and said, “I’m board with that”,
never to look into again,
except to retrieve routine, dutiful statements
with little or no heartfelt thought invested.
That’s not prayer...
That won’t help...
It’s not that prayer is not going to get us closer
to knowing God;
it’s just that,
we need a new word to fit the definition,
and then maybe a new definition…
Something that puts our eyes toward our Father
and meets His gaze
as we share the same breath
and enjoy the togetherness
of the moment.
Feeling like time is standing still
and wondering why you waited so long
to join Him.
Wishing to spend all time
in the moments that you share,
knowing, nothing has value
compared to being with Him
and knowing
His powerful, complete, love,
favor and affection...
All needs met,
all sorrows shared,
all sins forgiven,
all hopes fulfilled,
to bring you the deepest,
longest lasting joy.
Ahhhh, can you call this prayer?
Yes…
but then never sully the word
by putting this holy name
to any other event.
Read Bible
It’s not that it wont help to read the Bible…
but if we read the Bible
like so many things we do
(never engaging our heart, our spirit,
our imagination and our soul)
chapters will go by
without anything sinking in,
without Him
literally inhabiting the words
and healing our soul,
bringing a candle of truth
into the dark corners,
where we have been deceived
and held captive,
to be reminded of those
needing forgiveness
(releasing them to the Lord)
to feel His hand on your shoulder
reminding you of an unconfused sin
(and repenting),
to long for strength in your weaknesses
(uncovered by His Spirit
and the holiness of His Word),
to walk
and talk with the Lord,
to sit at His feet
and listen,
to watch,
as our Master models a life
surrendered to the Father
and weep for want of righteousness…
It’s not that “reading your Bible”
will not help you know God
and be known by Him,
we just need to re-define
our time with the Lord
as we read.
Spiritual Disciplines
“Now”, you say…
now, there’s something I can DO!”
but not with that attitude,
will you draw closer to God.
When we fast
or deny ourselves of food
or fleshly pleasures
it’s not with an attitude of earning
our righteousness
or ability to stand before God,
but rather,
with a desire to weaken the flesh
that the spirit within us
may be strengthened.
When we long
with our heart, soul, mind and strength
to be closer to God
when we nourish the spirit
and weaken the flesh
we will find one
stronger than the other.
As the two battle within,
it is the stronger one that wins,
the stronger is the one you feed.
Then,
to spend ourselves
on behalf of others,
to unchain those
who are oppressed
and to feed the hungry,
loving and honoring others
above ourselves,
this
is how Jesus behaved,
this
is a fast the Father will regard
and reward.
This
will bring us closer to God.
Quite Time
There is no substitute for having
a quiet-time.
To get to know someone,
you must spend time with them,
best without distractions…
the problem is,
in every human,
earthly relationship we know of,
we walk into a room
and if the person is present,
we may choose to spend time with that person,
or walk out.
But God…God is everywhere,
all the time...
So the possibilities are limitless (literally).
When we think of “quiet time”
it’s limited to a sort of “date night”
that (as all married couples know),
are often pushed to the not-as-important,
non-existent happenings,
or worse, a task, checked of the list,
instead of a passionate exchange,
guarded, relished, and cherished,
a time to steel away together with your love.
As Jesus “stole away often”
to be with the Father.
But let’s let “quiet time”
be added to
“Loud time”
And let’s call it
“all time”!
Yes…
Let’s spend “all time” with Him.
He want’s to give us
Stillness and peace
in the midst of noise.
Not just escape from it.
He wants to walk with us
in the midst of trial
as well as ride the roller coasters
of life with us.
So let’s let the time we steel away
to be alone with God
be born
out of our desire to focus on
Him alone
and raise our awareness
to many times each day
He is standing by to help,
bless and just be near us
(His bride).
Go to Church
Surely going to church
will secure our ticket to Heaven…
Right?
Um, not like that,
sadly no.
If you go out of duty…
Well, someone once said:
“If you play beside the pool,
You might get wet”
But with this God thing,
If you want to get to know God,
You need to dive in!
Like when you feel yourself
judging others,
Or feeling scrutinized by them,
You have the wrong focus,
To put your eyes on God
and ask Him to help you
focus on Him
not others…
then you will see the others
in the light of His love.
Suddenly, the playing field is leveled
and you see in others
what God sees in them.
Then the music…
Oh the music…
Can I just say,
it’s like magic
the way it effects your heart.
God uses it to wash you,
to melt you,
to lift you
and teach you.
Once you take your eyes off your self
and off others,
and put them on God…
That’s when the magic happens…
Don’t like the word?
Get over it!
I’d say miracle,
but people are tired of that word too!
They save that word for things like
winning the lottery
or having cancer healed,
but use the word
if you realize it means
every moment of every day
God is working to bring about good for you.
To cause you to see His loving hand
in your life
and in the life of others,
Then you’ll go to church
because you get to,
not have to,
and to celebrate the grace
and mercy
and salvation
together with the others lost souls
who have gone through the desert
and found an oasis
with water
and food
and shelter
enough to share.
When you go
because you can’t wait to celebrate
with those other broken and thankful souls…
then you get it,
then you will come to know God better
for having gone…

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

Good:
acceptable, excellent, exceptional,
pain, suffering, sorrow.

valuable, wonderful, great,
heart-breaking, grieving, loss.

stellar, super, nice,
unjust, injury, stricken.

positive, pleasing, precious,
beaten, mocked, rejected.

marvelous, spectacular, praise-worthy,
sacrifice, death, it-is-finished.

Friday.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Thursday

    May your Holy Thursday bring you benefit that will last.  
    Something trivial. 
    Something witty and sarcastic. 
    Something flashy or cute. 

    They all get attention for a moment, 
    but they bring no benefit. 
    There's no bank of goodness, 
    these things fill up to give us wealth 
    of any sort. 

    This might be my "everything is meaningless"
     thought for the day... 

    Truth (on the other hand) will last.
    It might be mocked, 
    disregarded, 
    or passed over, 
    but it will add value your life. 

    Here's a cool Proverb: 
    "Wisdom is of utmost importance, 
    therefore get wisdom. 
    Though it cost all you have, 
    get understanding."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What are you hiding from?

What are you hiding from, oh man,
that you bow your head in shame?
Do you hide from your Maker?
The Maker of Heaven and Earth?
Do you fear His wrath?
Have you not heard of His love?
Do you not seek His face,
that you would see the love in His eyes?

Yes,
there's pain there too,
anger as well
for tyranny and injustice,
shame for the grievous acts of man,
but only the mournful sigh
of a parent before he acts to bring correction.
Don't you know it's His kindness that leads to repentance.

Only for the will and desire of reconciliation.
Only all done for love.
Only all done for love,
for love.

Never hide your face in shame.
Always look to Him for love
it has been your promised inheritance.
Only always look to him in love
as one who seeks a parent's affection.

It is His motivation to span the earth's deepest recesses
that not one of his beloved children would be lost.
There is no place a sheep can wander
to be out of His love or reach of concern.
There is no sin that covers one's head so completely
that the grace of his mercy cannot wash the stains away.
There is no darkness that can hide us from his affection,
(try as it may).

Step into the light and raise your gaze
to the Lord of Heaven's Armies.
The the Light of His countenance.
The the brightness of His affection.
There is mercy there.
All is well,
all is forgiven,
all is perfect light
and sorrow and grieving flee away
in the brightness of his love and affection.

Why hang your head oh man?

Turn your face to haven
and receive rest for your soul.
Joy for your sorrow,
relief for your sickness
and mercy for your sin.

Be refreshed in the light of his love.
He is alive.
He is here.
He is Almighty.
Abba.
Abba.
As he takes my face in His hands
and kisses my brow
I know I am His
I am changed.
I am loved.
I am Abba's.
Oh, God thank you.
Abba thank you

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Taming The Tongue

I read the words:
"but no human being can tame the tongue.
It is a restless evil,
full of deadly poison."(James3:8)

I'm a visual person
so I Googled images (to illustrate the action).

I saw lots of duct tape, zippers, and whips!
But honestly none of those were very practical!

Would God give us impractical frustrating Words?
Well, if it brought us to a place of asking Him for help,

Yes.

It's not the first time an impossible request was made by God.
Really?
How about:
"Be perfect as I am perfect" -Jesus Mtt5:48
'Be holy, because I the LORD your God, am holy." ~God Lv19:2
"You must be blameless before the LORD your God." Du 18:13

So are we really able to tame our tongue, or be perfect, or be holy or blameless?!

Well, yes...and no.

James gives us some really great help with the tongue taming,
He says "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry".
Part of taming our tongue, is just not blurting out whatever comes to mind!
And to be honest,
you might not think being holy, blameless and perfect
has anything to do with taming your tongue.
Oh, but it does.

Sadly, or maybe it's a good thing,
out of the mouth,
comes the overflow of the heart.
And God judges the heart
(the place he is knocking at the door of)
(desiring to be invited in).

So how do we tame our tongue
 (if not by duct tape, zippers and whips)
Should we use gritted teeth, white knuckles and sheer will power?
Lock ourselves away in isolation?!
Well, fasting words (for a season)
may be beneficial,
but in truth, we must ask Jesus to come in
and help us.
Ask that his spirit would cleans and heal our heart.

If our heart is the well spring of the soul,
and pouring out of our mouth is deadly poison,
then we must shock the well!
Simply put,
repent from the sin that resides
within,
replace lies we have believed with truth
(found in the Bible)
And ask for the Lord to help us.

If you get stuck,
ask a Christian who's a little farther down the path than you.
We all have our share of sinful trials
we are all in process.
About being holy, blameless and perfect,
the point is (and always was)
that this is the unwavering standard.
The only way to attain this state
is to accept the sacrifice of Jesus
in our place.

He is our only hope.
He makes us holy,
He makes us perfect
(washing us with His own blood),
and He makes us blameless,
taking all the blame on his own shoulders
for our redemption.

 God bless you as you wrestle with
(and meditate on) this truth.
And if I may serve you (in any way),
please do me the honor of asking.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A beautiful thought

A beautiful thought from my study this morning: 
God does not need to be apologized for...
His passion is pure
his love is protecting and powerful
and every good and perfect thing comes from him.
Some may say "If God is so protecting, and loving, why do Christians suffer!?"
But all people suffer
(not by the hand of God,
rather as a result of this fallen world).
Those who believe, are given an indescribable peace
and even joy
in the midst of suffering.
Companionship and help in our deep grieving sorrows.
The worst thing on earth is not death,
it's separation from our loving God.
We who know this wonderful comfort
would go bravely into all trial,
being held and kept 
by the love and power of our king.
20 Encouraging Bible Verses
-The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Pro 18:10
-Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov 3:5-6
-So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
-Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. Jn 14:27
-“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn 16:33
-God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it's waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Ps 46:1-3
-For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2Tm 1:7
-I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Ps16:8
-Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Ps 55:22
-Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1Peter 5:7
-You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Is 26:3
-As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Ps 18:30 (all of ps18 is so powerfully encouraging!)
-The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD's right hand has done mighty things! The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done might things!” Ps 118:14-16
-You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Ps 119:114-115
-I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. Ps 119:25
-My comfort in my suffering is this; Your promise preserves my life. Ps 119:50
-It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. Ps 119:71
-I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. Ps 120:1
-May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ had so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ... Romans 15:5
-Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:1-4